This is the tale of a muffin man, a little piggie, and the pope of toasty buttocks. I wondered if anyone would actually click my my muffin link but here you are so let's dive in shall we?
Muffin Man was my introduction to Frank Zappa. That song is magical, weird and wonderful much like the wildly talented, creative genius responsible for it. The drawing above was also inspired by his song Broken Hearts Are For Assholes. Don't ask me to explain the muffin's socks, prickly legs or protruding sphincter that bears a striking resemblance to the alien in Kim Basinger's bag in My Step Mother Is An Alien.
Just go with it ok? If you hadn't noticed I contain multitudes. This will become even clearer as you go.
PROTIP Keep your hands in the jeep.
Zappa's song Billy The Mountain was supposedly the inspiration for greatest cartoon character of all time, Powdered Toast Man. I say supposedly because I've listened to this song a zillion times and still don't taste powdered toast or even projectile arm pit croutons... but ok it IS a great story and somehow even manages to come full circle in the end and I haven't even gotten to the part about the piggie yet.
Frank Zappa was on Ren & Stimpy and even got to cling tenaciously to Powdered Toast Man's buttocks because hello big hat, so windy.
Powdered Toast Man was voiced by my personal radio hero Gary Owens whose work ethic and professionalism were sacrosanct. (His radio ethos was "you prepare one hour for every hour you are on the air." I have followed this as an immutable law since I got into radio and it has served me well.) Ren & Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi tells the story of how Zappa, who was a fan, went on to seal it's subversive, whimsical and savage legend:
Yeah, Frank Zappa was a fan of the show, and I was a huge Frank Zappa fan growing up. I had all his records. and when I found out he was a fan, our mixer, one of the sound engineers, was also mixing some Frank Zappa records, and he ... handed the phone to me one day and it was Frank on the line. So Frank invited me to his house that weekend. ... and I went with Elinor Blake and Frank and his family and I, Moon Unit and Dweezil. We all sat around watching Ren & Stimpy cartoons all afternoon. He was laughing all through them, and after it was over I asked: “Hey Frank, you want to BE in a cartoon?” and he said: “Yeah, that’d be great” and I said: “You want to be the pope?” and he said: “Yeah, I always wanted to be the pope.”
If you read this far expecting I would tie this all together in a nice little package ha ha nope. But I do have a piggie. A little one that wee wee weed...what? Fuck it this little piggie went to court & WON Frank's choice for a nickname for his wife's baby toe was delightfully unhinged and when their baby boy was born they wanted to name him after her sweet little toe but the stick-up-the-butt staff of the hospital refused to let these parents name their own child and forced them to "name him something normal" so Frank & Gail named him after a whole bunch of musicians they knew Ian Underwood, Donald Fagen, Calvin Schenkel, & Euclid Jim Sherwood. When little Ian Donald Calvin Euclid was 5 years old he was told about the baby toe story and he was rightfully OUTRAGED as 5 year olds can be outraged and he demanded to be renamed after his mom's baby toe, they went to court to make it official and that ladies and gentlemen is how DWEEZIL Zappa came to be.
On a somber note Dweezil recently did a brutally honest and tear inducing interview with Marc Maron about his life and devastating legal issues that have torn his family apart since his parents died
This new documentary Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words has no narration and is just Frank being frank looks riveting and brilliant. If you respect talent, hard work and creative energy you should take the time to go see it. Zappa was described by conformist media dopes in his day as "a force of cultural darkness, bearded and gross and filthy and a lone brutal reminder of musics potential for invoking chaos & destruction" We should all be socourageous.
Frank Zappa's extraordinary mind, work and legacy should be passionately studied by anyone considering a career in the music industry or who dreams of just living a life that, like this peculiar author typing this, is wildly creative, beautiful & most of all FREE.